§ Margaret Moran
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he plans to take to reduce the number of failed appointments in the NHS due to non attendance. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The Government have a number of actions in place that will contribute to reducing the number of failed appointments in the national health service due to non-attendanceBooked appointments (including in-patient and out-patient visits) have been shown to reduce the number of failed appointments due to non-attendance. By the end of 2005, all out-patient appointments and in-patient elective admissions will be pre-booked;Alongside this, electronic booking systems are being implemented. They will make booking more convenient for patients and clinicians, allow bookings to be easily changed to take account of changing circumstances and over time they will also enable appointment reminders to be issued via phone, email and other technologies;All acute hospital trusts now have booking systems in place in at least two specialities/high volume procedures and more than five million patients have now benefited from booked appointments. A fourth wave of the national booking programme, 'moving to mainstream', began in September 2001 and will shift booking to mainstream NHS activity.The Modernisation Agency's Theatre Project have issued interim guidance which includes a checklist of actions for addressing patient cancellations, including validating lists and telephoning patients near the date of admission to confirm attendance. Pre-operative assessment is being rolled out as part of operating theatres and pre-operative assessment programme and should reduce non-attendance and last minute patient cancellations;Use of partial booking systems support reducing the level of non-attendance by ensuring patients are contacted before their appointment so that they can agree a convenient date and time.
These initiatives are already starting to make an impact. As the level of booking increases and the guidance from the theatre project is spread across the NHS we will see a reduction in number of failed appointment due to non-attendance.
§ Margaret Moran
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what percentage of appointments at GPs' surgeries were not kept by patients in(a) England, (b) Bedfordshire and (c) Luton in the last 12 months for which figures are available; 151W
(2) what the level of failed GP appointments as a result of non-attendance was in each PCT in the last 12 months for which figures are available.